L.A. County District Attorney Steve Cooley, who recently announced his intent to run for California attorney general, may be trying to gain some political capital among conservative voters by waging war against medical marijuana dispensaries.
Cooley's office announced today that it is charging noted dispensary owner Jeff Joseph, of popular Organica in Venice, with 24 felonies related to the unlawful sale of marijuana. Cooley "warned that state law does not allow dispensaries to sell medical marijuana," according to LAT.
Joseph's case, which was intensely investigated by police and federal agents, has the potential to test whether state law permits dispensaries to sell marijuana.
A court commissioner set Joseph's bail at $520,000, which his sister and mother tearfully announced he does not have. Joseph's attorney, Eric Shevin, says that the charges are political and that Joseph was targeted due to his pot club's notoriety. Cooley's office denies these claims and says that other dispensary owners are facing charges as well.